How did natives survive in ancient times?

And tape his show, too, mind you.

aceplace57 you can’t really compare backpacking over a weekend or simulating a wilderness survival exercise with living in those conditions. The human spirit is defined by survival and as a social species. And yes, as many have noted most people in history, don’t live alone. You’re allowing confirmation bias to influence your conclusion of how people lived a long time ago.

I understand modern tribes probably aren’t that much different from long ago.

Men form hunting parties. Women and older children work at the camp. It takes everyone working to survive.

They don’t even think of it as surviving. It’s just how they live.

I’ve seen a lot of good documentaries on Nat Geo.

Those men did amazing things. Shooting a monkey with a blow dart. Then climbing the tree, a hundred feet, to retrieve it.

One more thing. People back then weren’t plunked down in a new environment as adults. Children grew up learning how to survive, taught by parents and other members of the tribe. Tribes that moved did so very slowly, perhaps pushed by population pressure and other tribes. Only a tiny fraction of these people got even 50 miles from the main body of the tribe, and nomadic tribes stuck to familiar routes.

We’d have a hard time surviving sure, but we survive in our even more dangerous world by learning as we grow. Starving takes time - getting run over by a car takes seconds. A person dropped in our environment without any training wouldn’t last a day.

This is amazing indeed.

It’s more amazing still that the monkey was able to stay in the tree after being killed.

Frankly, I think both monkeys and men were made of tougher stuff back then. The monkeys today fall right out of the tree.

The monkey was stuck in the branches of the tree.

Watching these men climb these trees was amazing. There weren’t any lower branches. They hugged the tree and used their legs to push themselves upwards. Most athletes today wouldn’t have a chance of duplicating what these tribesman did effortlessly.

Are you kidding? I go to my wife’s parents house an hour outside of New York City and I might see literally a dozen deer wandering between the houses. Heck, I’ve seen a black bear walking down the middle of the street.
That “Into the Wild” moron survived for like 3 months in the Alaskan wilderness and he had no idea what he was doing.
Les also tends to film in some of the most inhospitable parts of the world.

Humans are not complete morons. Humans from 100,000 years ago had a smaller knowledge and technological base, but they were as clever as you and me. They learned, they experimented, they adapted.

And that’s an important point. Humans, us, whether from today, 20 years ago or 20,000 years ago are just as smart as any other humans.

They may have access to lesser arts - eMail, bows, glassworks, whatever - but they apply that high intelligence and what arts they have to deal with their environment as they find it. To say it’s ‘amazing’ how they do it is to both patronize them and underrate yourself.

You may be amazed at the tree-climbing skills you saw but remember that that’s a display of skill. There’s nothing, nothing at all, preventing you or anyone else from learning to do the exact same thing. Just as there’s nothing preventing a current hunter-gather from learning calculus and coding. They just haven’t learned to do so just as you haven’t learned to scale trees.

On the OP. How did natives survive? Quite well, thank you. Well enough to take over the damn world in less than 200,000 years. And no other species had better forget it. We not only figured out how to survive in all environs but we also deeply committed to either terrifying or extinctifying all species that could seriously threaten or compete with us.

Sure, but can they post on the Dope while avoiding work? People get good at doing what they need to. Not sure why this isn’t obvious.

Many dinosaurs laid eggs; millions of years before chickens existed.

Off topic, but that’s not quite true, I don’t believe.

Obviously, there’s the nutrition aspect. Modern women have more plentiful and well-rounded nutrients all year, so modern babies have an advantage.

Evolution has also continued to expand the pelvic opening on women through the historic era, to allow for larger heads, so that may also help a modern baby to perform better (on average) than a prehistoric baby.

And there’s also the bootstrapping issue.

If you leave a baby in the forest to be raised by wolves and that baby does in fact get raised by wolves, the resulting adult is going to be feral, unable to communicate, and unable even to learn to poo outdoors.

Humans go through a process of being turned into intellectual giants by comparison to your average mammal through interaction and training by those who came before us. Over the millenia, we’ve discovered more things, better ways of thinking, better ways of teaching, etc. Children are exposed to more and streamlined to be better with every generation.

A modern adult human is actually smarter than an ancient human, on average, and even ignoring nutrition and such, simply because we live in the modern world with all of its advances and were fortunate enough to be able to soak some of that in.

I personally suspect that just simple things like teaching children that imaginary friends are imaginary and should be abandoned as soon as possible, or that bullying is bad, etc. are bootstrapping lessons that have rendered our cultures significantly different from ancient humans in ways that we have a hard time imagining.

Spoiler alerts, please!

In BCE California, fish, game, and edible plants were so plentiful and the climate so mild that people there spent a lot of time sitting around gambling. The skies were black with birds and the rivers teemed with fish.

The ultimate punishment for bad behavior was getting kicked out of the tribe. Even in California, a solitary person usually didn’t live long. The idea that life “without civilization” is every man for himself is a modern conceit with zero factuality.

Cite: The Ohlone Way by Malcolm Margolin

Umm… those links disprove your point. According to your link, Tulpa originated in the early 20th century and was in use at least as recently as 2009. Unless humans have evolved significantly over the last 9 years, this is a feature of modern man and not ancient man. I guess you could technically read your post as ancient cultures didn’t think that imaginary friends were real and now we do, so that’s a significant difference, but your tone seemed to be from someone who is a cultural progressivist and generally speaking, progressivists like to believe that we’re ‘better’ than our ancestors in some undefined way and I kind of think that using lucid dreaming to make ‘My Little Pony’ real is not really ‘better’ than the past.

As another point, I’d actually like to see evidence that we’re ‘smarter’ than our ancestors. Plato and Socrates seemed like pretty bright guys. Maybe not ‘lucid dreaming ‘My Little Ponies’ into reality’ bright, but pretty bright nonetheless.

This is the subject of much research and debate but I think every side of the debate would agree with the simple premise that human societies evolved over time. The questions are more about how a tendency for self-sacrifice evolved over time. I mean, you’re right that the family groups were an evolutionary trait that existed before we were people but it continued to evolve as various subspecies warred it out and we probably won over the stronger, smarter Neanderthals because of social cohesion. The fascinating paradoxical truth (one that gives me hope) is that while selfishness helps individuals thrive within groups, altruism helps groups prevail over other groups.

I completely agree with you, it’s self-evident. We don’t live the same way that the Ancient Babylonians did, we certainly evolved (where evolved simply means changed with no connotations that it was for the ‘better’ or ‘worse’) Unfortunately, I think that the point that he was making was that human tribes did not ‘evolve’ out of solitary humans somehow banding together, but rather were an innate feature of our species from the time that our species existed.

Unprovable, but unlikely. There are just so many more of us, and with the availability of modern medicine and technology, those of us on the “not so bright side” have a much better chance of survival than they did in the past. But I think you’re misreading what JC intended, and that is that native intelligence (no pun in reference to the OP) hasn’t changed in any significant way, on average. Take a baby from 20,000 years ago and plop him or her in our society, and they are unlikely to be noticeably less intelligent than average.

Now, if we’re talking 200,000 years ago, maybe. There is a significant school of thought that so-called “anatomically modern humans” from before ~ 75,000 years ago were not quite up to snuff with us more recent versions of the species.

Tribes and family groups were part of every human species dating back before our species. It’s not like people were ever running around barely surviving on their own then somebody “invented” the tribe.